Alaska Walkabouts

The adventures of an Alaska Wildlife and Nature Photographer.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mission Accomplished

I just returned from an 19-day photo quest out in Prince William Sound. My dog Bryn and I took the boat out of Whittier and traveled to the head of the magnificent College Fjord. I then took the boat up a creek channel and pretty much let it go high and dry to escape the ice pack and marauding waves from the many powerful tidewater glaciers there. Although it wasn't the end all of my goals, my wish was to get the aurora borealis over that region. The weather was a nightmare for most of the trip with torrential rains day after day for almost two weeks. I came to a point on Halloween morning where I could not take it any more and began preparations for leaving. But I forced myself to stay. In the beginning of the third week the weather patterns shifted and I got my wish with some stunning aurora displays. Of course for those weeks I also shot other subjects like calving glaciers, Bryn, and landscapes galore. I now have weeks of photo processing ahead of me and I will blog more about this adventure when that job is complete. For now I will just post a few preliminary shots of the trip. All of them taken on my last day out when the weather was sublime and the aurora kicked ass.

The creek channel where I let my boat Cape Chacon go high and dry for the duration of the trip. My boat is perfect for this sort of thing. We floated on the upper parts of the tide but I felt safest when the tide was way out. The drifting icebergs in the fjord and more importantly the waves from calving glaciers were a very real danger there. The nearest glacier is Bryn Mawr Glacier and off to the right on the horizon there is the big and powerful Harvard Glacier. Although it is many miles away, the waves from it's calving episodes would reach us in about 5 minutes. I named my boy Bryn after Bryn Mawr Glacier and it was a joy to finally hang out next to it with Bryn as this may have been the last trip like this that I will take my rapidly aging little guy.

Bryn and I at Bryn Mawr Glacier

It took 19 days of waiting for this to happen. I had photographed a few minor displays on the first couple nights of the trip but then the rain set in for almost two weeks. I shot this display from 6:30 pm to 4:00 am the following morning when in finally dissipated. This was like a dream. The whole trip seems like a dream. I will blog much more on in later.